The Associated Press has released the first picture of the alleged shooter who killed two students at a high school in Benton, Kentucky. We also have new details from the tragedy from eyewitnesses.
The picture shows what authorities say is a 15-year-old male student, who opened fire on students at Marshall County High School in Benton Tuesday morning. Two students, one male and one female, are dead. At least 19 more are injured, with 14 of them having sustained gunshot wounds. The shooting took place in the school’s atrium just as school was about to start, and the shooter allegedly used a handgun.
We are also hearing from someone who encountered the shooter’s mother outside of the school, and saw her reaction to discovering her son was the killer.
Police were seen leading a teenager away in handcuffs after he was apprehended by a Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy roughly 15 minutes after the shooting broke out.
He has not been named and police have not released a motive. The student, who is believed to be in the school band, will be charged with murder and attempted murder.
The two fatalities were a 15-year-old girl who was pronounced dead at the scene and a 15-year-old boy who later died after being admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee with a gunshot wound to his head.
At least 14 people were taken to hospital, some via helicopter, suffering gunshot wounds. Another five were also injured but were not shot. All of the victims are believed to be students.
Shocked students have described the terrifying moment the shooter opened fire before classes began, forcing nearly 100 children to run out of the school and seek safety.
‘He was determined. He knew what he was doing,’ a classmate said of the shooter.
‘It was one right after another – bang bang bang bang bang. You could see his arm jerking as he was pulling the trigger.’
Another student said: ‘No one screamed. It was almost completely silent as people just ran.
‘He just ran out of ammo and couldn’t do anything else. He took off running and tried to get away from the officers.’
The school was placed in lock down and the entrances to the school were blocked off by first responders.
A half-dozen ambulances and numerous police cars converged on the school. Officers in black fatigues carrying assault rifles showed up as well.
Cars lined up on both sides of an adjacent road as parents desperately tried to find their children. Many student fled the school in cars, while others ran down ran down the highway for more than a mile.
The mother of one of the students evacuated from the school described the chilling moment she helped the shooter’s mom after she learned her son was responsible.
Heather Adams told WKMS that her son had already texted her to say he was safe so she was trying to help other parents locate their children.
‘I noticed a lady that was distraught and couldn’t find her child. I was texting with my son asking ‘Do you know where this child is? Is this child safe?’,’ Adams said.
‘I stayed with her while we waited. That was the shooter’s mother.
‘I held her hair while she threw up… She needed an ambulance. She was going into shock. And I couldn’t get an ambulance there. I got yelled at by the police for calling for an ambulance… We got a firefighter’s coat to put on her.’
Here is the picture of the shooter, released by AP.
Our thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured.